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Matei Ioachimescu and Irina Rădulescu, about their presence on the Radio Hall stage

Wednesday, 25 January 2023 , ora 10.56

On Thursday, January 19th, 2023, from 7 PM, the Radio Hall will host a unique event for the Romanian music scene. The "Legends - Classic Rock Meets Contemporary Classics"event is initiated and hosted by flute player Matei Ioachimescu, together with Irina Rădulescu on marimba and Răzvan Florescu on vibraphone. The same Matei Ioachimescu will be the soloist of the Radio National Orchestra on Friday, January20th. These are the topics that the Guests of the Week talked about in Perpetuum mobile on Wednesday January18th.

The program will include reworks of well-known songs by Led Zeppelin, Iron Maiden, Aerosmith and Guns N' Roses, in the vision of Romanian and foreign classical music composers.Percussionist Irina Rădulescu and flute player Matei Ioachimescu, this week's guests on Perpetuum mobile in the following minutes. First of all, good evening to Irina.

Good evening.

I'm glad to have you here today.

It's good to be here.

The Radio Hall will host a unique event for the Romanian music scene, tomorrow night at 7 PM. The recital Legends, Classic, Rock Meets Contemporary Classics is scheduled then. Together with yourcolleagues of the PERCUSSIONescu duo, Răzvan Florescu and Matei Ioachimescu, you are continuing the Legends project, which started in 2020. What exactly will your audience atthe Radio Hall tomorrow night listen to?

They'll listen toa rock music program that I think everyone knows, in a version that I think very few people know, or at least those who have been following us for the two years since we started this project. In any case, rock music written for marimba and vibraphone, but I don't think it has been played on flute. It may sound bizarre to say the least, but it's an opportunity to discover these three instruments in such a setting, because yes, these three instruments, although it may not seem like it, can also play rock music, and very well at that.

Rock music with opuses by Gabriel Mălăncioiu, Mihai Măniceanu and Andrei Petrache.

And Andrei Petrache, with whom we, PERCUSSIONescu, have been collaborating since our beginnings. We have a very nice collaboration. Andrei has written two other works for us. He is preparing something even more interesting for the coming year.Yes, the whole project itself is a challenge, especially from a technical point of view. Now I'm talking about the percussion instruments, because rock music, if it were played note by note, as it was originally written, could be quite embarrassingly easy to play, so all these arrangements we worked on went way beyond even the existing technical limits at times, I mean we took a bit of a risk two years ago.We worked on improving the equipment, we did impossible things, but I'm very glad that me and my colleague, Răzvan, found it just as challenging when we resumed the project after two years. There are still some crazy ideas in there from a technical point of view, and it's just as hard to carry out, but we're very happy that, after two years, we're carrying it out much more easily. That's a good sign.

They are arrangements of rock songs by Guns N' Roses, Aerosmith and Led Zeppelin. You collaborated with Jorge Rojas on these arrangements. How did the dialogue with him go?

It was all online. Anyway, I think it was during the isolation period. It was during that time when we were either in the house or out for a bit. In any case, he is Venezuelan, if I'm not mistaken, so, because of the distance, the communication was either through emails or video sessions. It was very interesting for me and Răzvan to collaborate with him, because he is basically a guitarist. It was the first time he made such arrangements for marimba, bass and vibraphone, and we were very surprised by the tenacity with which he managed to understand the technical part of these instruments, without even getting close to them. He wrote some works worthy of entering the percussion repertoire, in my opinion.

After tomorrow night's recital, Legends, what are PERCUSSIONescu's projects for the beginning of 2023, Irina Rădulescu?

We are preparing something with Andrei Petrache. It's an idea that was born at the same time with this year. It'sabout a concert, a double concert for marimba, vibraphone and orchestra, then we are preparing a tour, PERCUSSIONescu, an international tour, with a new repertoire.We are also preparing a tour with the students, because, in the meantime, we have established ourselves as teachers at the George Enescu National College of Music in Bucharest, somehow, naturally, without planning, just like we have emerged as a band.Without planning it, a fantastic ensemble of students was born, with whom we share the joy of making chamber music with great pleasure. So we're dividing 2023 between concerts and tours with students and our own tours.

Good luck to you, Irina Rădulescu. We will meet again on Radio România Muzical. We will talk about these projects as they're coming up.

I can't wait.

Now, with your permission, we'll come to the topic of the second event, that flute player Matei Ioachimescu will perform this week on the stage of the Radio Hall, the concert on Friday, January20th, with the Radio National Orchestra. Hello, Matei.

Good evening. Thank you very much for the invitation, in a week that seems to be the week of Matei Ioachimescu, because here I am doing two programs, where the only connection between them is basically just me, because, both in terms of repertoire and approach, these programs are totally different.So, after the wonders of Thursday evening, also at the Radio Hall, on Friday evening, together with my colleagues from the Radio National Orchestra, this time conducted by the young but very dynamic Finnish conductor Kalle Kuusava, we received a program to the public's taste. It is a program that cannot fail, because, in addition to the suite from the Swan Lake ballet by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, I brought the flute into a position of romantic lyricism and virtuosity, with famous themes taken either from Bizet's opera Carmen, on which certain interventions were made and it became a fantasy of maximum virtuosity.Here is Lenski's aria from the opera Yevgeny Onegin, also by Ilyich Tchaikovsky, an absolutely moving melody in an arrangement that belongs to me, so, suddenly, the flute lends its voice to the characters in various operas. And, right at the beginning of my presence on the Radio Hall stage, there will be this work, a musical gem by the early 20th century French composer Cecile Chaminade, Concertino for flute and orchestra, also of an absolutely moving post-Romantic lyricism, and the overture to Weber's La Oberon, in a programme, as I said, extremely dynamic and pleasant to the ear. And this week has gone like this, even if the rehearsals have been very intense, it is a real pleasure to return to Bucharest in this capacity, and this time in two completely different programs, aimed at completely different audiences.If tickets for Thursday's concert are almost sold out, there are still tickets available on Friday. You can still get them. I can't wait to meet again the Bucharest audience in large numbers, because, after two years of limitations and sporadic meetings, we now have the opportunity to see each other again, to enjoy the energy of a unique moment and somehow to learn to listen to music again, to learn to enjoy these moments together, with an extraordinary energy and all under the sign, as I said, of an extremely attractive program.

Matei Ioachimescu, the same question I asked Irina earlier. After these two, as you said, very different concerts, what's next on your calendar for early 2023?

In addition to my work as a university professor at the West University of Timisoara, this is an older passion of mine, which has begun to take shape in Timisoara, in a place where we can build a flute class at international standards, so, in addition to these things, we are also preparing with my students a large-scale tour, with the help of AFCN, in a project that will include ten concerts in ten different cities, Matei Ioachimescu&Romanian Flute Ensemble, with an extraordinarily interesting program built around playing with these wonderful instruments, the whole family of flutes, from the bass flute to the piccolo.There will be seven people on stage playing together, and when they do it,it will sound like a live organ, combined obviously with masterclasses in each city. It's a good opportunity to meet young Romanian flute players.So ten concerts are already coming up in March, then more concerts in Austria, in America, then an Asian experience, then a series of concerts starting with this wonderful concert for alto flute and orchestra, dedicated to me by the Finnish composer Kalevi Aho's. The premiere took place last year in Skopje, and now there are concerts in Poland, Finland and Austria. The schedule is starting to fill up. I'm also happy that after this pandemic, people are slowly, slowly finding their way back to the concert halls and experiencing this live, this vivid experience of artists on stage and the audience reuniting. So I look forward to seeing you again in Bucharest in the near future.

Thus, tomorrow evening, a reunion with Matei Ioachimescu, tomorrow evening with the PERCUSSIONescu ensemble, Friday with the Radio National Orchestra. Thank you for your appearanceon Perpetuum mobile, I wish you all the success.

Thank you very much, and I look forward to meeting you again.

Interview by Lucian Haralambie
Translated by Andreea Zofotă,
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year II
Corrected by Silvia Petrescu